Updated 1:54 p.m Easter Daylight Time, 29 June 2012: Update includes information about various Hilton Garden Inn properties throughout Colorado Springs.
REPORT FROM THE U.S.— A Colorado wildfire of epic proportions continued to sweep through parts of the state Wednesday, disrupting hotel operations at several properties while causing anxiety at others.
The iconic Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs remained open and fully operational Wednesday morning after managers spent a long night monitoring shifting wind patterns in the area.
“We are open for business. The base of the fire on the south end has been secured and is moving rapidly away from us,” said Allison Scott, director of communications, at approximately 9 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday.
“The impact on the north end of town has been intense, but down here except for some smoke in the air it’s kind of the tale of two cities. Down here we have sunshine, no wind at the moment,” she added, describing the experience as “surreal.”
“This has been a challenging time for our city and our first concern is for the effects on our community and the safety of our citizens, our guests and our employees," said Broadmoor president Steve Bartolin in an emailed statement. "We have been very fortunate at The Broadmoor that we have not been affected in any physical way on the property, or the immediate surrounding area. We are open and fully operating. We continue to take care of our guests.”
It was too early to tell how the wildfire has impacted performance at the 744-room hotel, Scott said. While the property was “full,” she said it also was housing displaced staff members. Several groups were on site, going to meetings as planned.
“The hotel is fine. Our staff is fine. And our guests are going about their business,” she said.
The blaze carries on
This is the fifth day the wildfire has ravaged the state, which has seen record-high temperatures and a lack of rain in recent weeks. The blaze has displaced some 32,000 residents from their homes near Colorado Springs, according to CNN.com. Winds gusting to 65 miles per hour through mountain canyons blew the wildfire through containment lines into northwest Colorado Springs on Tuesday afternoon.
It is unclear how many hotels were forced to close or were damaged since fire broke out Saturday.
Local officials ordered the evacuation of the Hyatt House Colorado Springs and Hyatt Place Colorado Springs/Garden of the Gods late Tuesday evening.
“Hyatt House Colorado Springs will be closed for arrivals for the next five days, and Hyatt Place Colorado Springs/Garden of the Gods will be closed for arrivals for the next 10 days. Both hotels will waive all cancellation and rebooking charges and will work with each traveler to make future arrangements,” according to a statement.
The Embassy Suites Colorado Springs also was evacuated as of Wednesday. Hilton Worldwide's nearby DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Colorado Springs is open and housing firefighters, medics, evacuees and insurance company representatives, according to a Hilton spokesperson. The company is waiving fees associated with cancellations and early departures.
The Hampton Inn Colorado Springs Central Air Force Academy has been evacuated as of 27 June, 11:14 a.m. Central Standard Time. All staff and guests are safe and have been moved to surrounding properties. The Hampton Inn & Suites Colorado Springs/I-25 South, Hampton Inn Colorado Springs-Airport and Hampton Inn Colorado Springs Air Force Academy/I-25 North are all operating as usual as they are further away from the wildfire area.
The Days Inn in Manitou Springs had a mandatory evacuation because of the Waldon Canyon Fire on 24 June. As of 25 June, the hotel is fully operational, according to parent company Wyndham Hotel Group.
Both the Best Western Executive Inn & Suites in Colorado Springs and the Best Western Sky Way Inn & Suites in nearby Manitou Springs were forced to evacuate Sunday as well, according to a spokesperson. They have since reopened and are offering displaced residents and rescue workers discounts between 50% to 60%.
The Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, located in downtown Colorado Springs, is approximately 10 miles from the wildfire. As of this morning, it is open and has made rooms available for displaced residents. Wingate by Wyndham, a property in Pueblo, is 30 miles south of the fire and is fully operational at this time.
The Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs is housing some evacuees and is full. The Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs Airport is also operating at full capacity.
HotelNewsNow.com will provide updates to this story as information becomes available.